Crowley, Chabot Welcome Renewal of Sanctions Authorities, Calibrated Policy on Burma

May 17, 2016 Issues: Foreign Affairs

(Washington, D.C.)Today, Reps. Joe Crowley (D-NY) and Steve Chabot (R-OH), leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives on Burma, released the statement below following the announcement that the U.S. would extend for another year sanctions authority that has helped bring forward democratic reform in Burma. The sanctions were set to expire this week.

“The recent elections in Burma indicated a profound desire for change, and while we have seen substantial changes in a number of areas and many signs of progress, there is still more to be done. We remain concerned about some serious human rights issues, including ongoing attacks against ethnic minorities, as well as the military's extraordinary grip on key institutions of power. Renewing the sanctions authority while easing some sanctions sends a clear message that the United States continues to stand in support of true democratic reform in Burma,” said Crowley and Chabot.

Earlier this year, Crowley and Chabot introduced a resolution calling for additional steps to end ongoing human rights abuses and advance much-needed democratic reforms. In 2014, Crowley and Chabot introduced the Burma Human Rights and Democracy Act, legislation that would prevent the United States from providing or expanding military assistance to Burma’s Armed Services until benchmarks on human rights and defense reforms are met by the Burmese military. These benchmarks include free and fair elections, reform of the military-dominated constitution, an end to human rights abuses committed against the Burmese people, and the establishment of civilian oversight of the armed forces.